1st February 2015

Who has the last word?

“The law of the Medes and Persians”… This expression, signifying that a decision is irrevocable, has its roots in the Biblical books of both Daniel and Esther. In chapter 6 of his book, Daniel tells us that once promulgated a law of the Medes & Persians could not be modified, even by the king (Daniel 6.8-12). The book of Esther evokes the same fact in the following two references: Esther 1.19 and 8.8.

Thus in the story of Esther, Haman, king Xerxes’ anti-Semitic vizier, had managed to get the sovereign to decree the destruction of all the Jews in his empire. The date was fixed and the order published. “The law of the Medes & Persians” was going to achieve its goal.

This was without taking into account another law: that of faith! Esther and her uncle Mordecai prayed, fasted and put together a plan. God (who, by the way, is never quoted in this book) inspired that strategy of his children. Esther, despite a protocol ban, takes the risk of appearing in Xerxes’ presence. She invites him to a dinner in Haman’s presence. During a second meal she reveals the threat that hangs over her people.

With no power to revoke the preceding decree, Xerxes writes another that permits the threatened Jews to organize and defend themselves. Haman, a reflection of our common enemy, the devil, is executed finally.

Against “the law of the Medes & Persians” there exists another principle: that of God’s ability to change evil into good and cursing into blessing!


Robert Héris